the movie was good, the music, was very fitting with tarantino style, as usual, come on now, the same story with another director and writer, would be too uninteresting to watch, im not an obsessed tarantino fan, but only he would make a story like this , this interesting and thrilling to watch...
In Texas, 1858, a dentist turned bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is seeking the whereabouts of a gang known as the Brittle Brothers. To find them he frees Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who knows who the men are. Travelling across the South together, the two men form a partnership, with Schultz teaching the former slave the skills of a bounty hunter. In exchange for hunting the Brittle Brothers, Schultz agrees to help locate and free Django's wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who is still in captivity. She is a servant to a powerful slave trader, the courteous but untrustworthy Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). He runs a plantation called Candie Land, where slaves are encouraged to fight each other. Django and Schultz must pretend to be interested in buying a slave-fighter so that they can also bargain for Broomhilda's freedom. One of Candie's loyal slaves Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) remains suspicious of their new guests.
Django Unchained is the film where Quentin Tarantino finally grew up. The former video store clerk turned director, fifty next year, is showing signs he's ready to put his film geek senses aside and start substantiating his work. Django surprises because Tarantino has pared back the pop references, the verboseness and the juvenility that marks much of his work. The man who once said "violence is one of the most fun things to watch" now has something important to say about the way that killers and violence are manufactured. If this isn't shocking enough, the film is also his most compassionate and romantic work since Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), with characters who finally have something internal resembling genuine feelings.
Having imitated a number of popular film genres, Tarantino has longed to make a proper Western, a tribute to his hero Sergio Leone. He once named The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966) as his favourite film and like that movie, or any great Western, there is a wealth of commentary on justified violence here. However, the strength of Django is that it doesn't merely mimic Leone's work but provides new insights into the way that murder was deemed a necessity in the American West and the price of human life. Tarantino uses comedy to address this troubling subject matter, transcending its absurdity and brutality in unique ways we have not seen before.
Schultz's introduction is fantastic. He is richly characterised, not as a cold blooded psychopath, but as a businessman. After shooting a slave owner off his horse, Schultz puts down his rifle and then asks if he can have a bill of sale for Django. Later he explains: "I kill people and sell corpses for cash". Every kill to him is a business deal. He only kills people if he has the right paperwork for the bounty and believes he is acting within the confines of the law. Christoph Waltz is perfect in this role. He strips away any hint of malice and replaces it with a hilarious amount of gentility that makes him seem almost naive to the seriousness of his actions.
Interestingly, this character also shows changes that make him seem like a rounded human being; something unique to any Tarantino film. Schultz's friendship with Django makes him feel more responsible for other people, not just for freeing this one slave, but seeing how other people kill for entertainment, including a vicious dog attack on a slave. Django, quietly expressive by a great Jamie Foxx performance, also faces powerful moral questions about the value of life and race. Brief intercuts to memories of his wife increase the film's romantic temperament but later test his moral grounds. To fool Candie, Django must act like a slave trader and be neglectful of slaves himself. Both protagonists are therefore asked how much they're willing to sell themselves morally for flesh - a complex allegory for slavery itself.
The Candie Land scenes reach tension levels on par with Inglourious Basterds (2009). Infrequent close-up shots on Django's face and on his revolver are hugely suspenseful touches. Both DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson also form a pair of scene stealing baddies of frightening unpredictability, and build a chilling mirror to Schultz and Django's own friendship. There is an artifice to their civility, reflected through the art direction and mise en scène. The rooms of the main house are handsomely lit by candlelight and furnished with leather fittings. A woman plays Beethoven on a harp and we watch the slaves set out placements on the main dining table. But the unspoken psychological dilemma remains: do all of these luxuries come at the expense of a pound of flesh? This question is visualised with perhaps the most dramatic Faustian-like handshake in the history of movies.
For all the depth of the screenplay and the amazing performances, there are niggling shortcomings. Some technical issues include Tarantino's overly playful editing cuts and an anachronistic soundtrack, using songs from the likes of Tupac. The last fifteen minutes are also disastrous. The old Tarantino emerges with silly shootouts and an extremely stupid, unfunny cameo, a supposed gift to Australia. God help us. These are distractions from a very mature theme: no matter what their skin colour, all killers become indistinguishable from one another. Nonetheless, discussing an imperfect Tarantino film is still better than saying nothing at all.
I don't know where you get the idea that he "grew up." This is every bit as silly a flick as he's ever made. The violence is cartoonish from start to finish, not just in the climactic shootout scene. I would question the roundness of the characters, as well, seeing as the only ones to "grow" in the sense of doing something later in the movie that they wouldn't have done early on are Schultz, during the handshake scene with Candie, and the slave who mean-mugs Django on the march to Candieland.
It's not a character study. It's a spaghetti western revenge movie, something Tarantino has been toying with since Kill Bill. And that outrageous shootout at the end was a self-conscious nod to the genre, which itself was insanely violent.
It was surprising to see QT return to the well, however. Several scenes in the movie have direct analogs in his own previous films, including the post-shootout scene (the basement scene from Pulp Fiction) and Schultz telling Django the legend of Broomhilda (the campfire scene from Kill Bill Vol. 2). It's as if Tarantino's oeuvre has grown to the point where he's comfortable paying homage to himself.
I did think Django Unchained lacked the iconic scene his movies are known for. There is nothing to match the dance scene from Pulp Fiction, or the high-tension of The Jew Hunter's interrogation of the French farmer in Inglourious Basterds. The shootout seems the most likely candidate, following in the footsteps of The Bride's blood-splattered hack job on the Crazy 88s near the end of Kill Bill Vol. 1, but it lacked that scene's choreography, and we are wholly desensitized to the film's comically-enhanced gore by the time the firefight begins, so I really don't see it becoming a part of cinema lore as so many others in QT's past have.
The film itself was about 15 minutes too long, perhaps more. The same problem permeated Basterds, a film that I would have otherwise given an Oscar to, if not for an overlong middle section that was devoid of the humor and tension present in the rest of the movie. With Django, the long parts are at the end. I won't go into spoilers, so it's up to you to see it for yourselves.
I'm torn - on the one hand I want to see this because I love westerns, and it has some great actors. On the other hand, I generally can't stand Tarantino - the only film of his I truly enjoyed was Jackie Brown...
@JangoF-76 Agreed. I also really enjoy Reservoir Dogs as well, but Jacky Brown was his most believable film, mostly because it's an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel. A lot of his films are entertaining, but lack real substance. You can really tell he's never had any formal education since 9th grade- and yes, he did drop out of high school at age 16.
So from my observation you have these three (3) sets of people:
WHITE PEOPLE WHO HATE THE MOVIE - They are embarrassed that one of their "own" has exposed many of the secrets that they have held. For example, anyone notice the "Cleopatra Club"? Many of the African artifacts shown throughout the plantation owners houses? This strengthens the fact that though they may try to bury and denounce the African culture and spiritual beliefs as evil, the European/White people only do this out of fear. The power of the African artifacts, language, and culture is something they aspire to be able to control as well as be a part of. Throughout history, these peoples have and still do destroy and denounce out of fear.
There is much more to this that I could in to, but I'll stop there (unless otherwise requested).
BLACK PEOPLE WHO HATE THE MOVIE - Because of the hundreds of years of subjugation and oppression, they have come to hate who they were and the power of their former ancestors. The main character himself, Django, intimidates Black men because Django is the epitome of what an Alpha male (The Protector) is supposed to do in the given situation. Django simply reveals their own weakness and self-doubt. I know many Black men personally who have never seen the movies, but call themselves "protecting themselves and their family" from watching this "wretched" movie.
If they could open their mind, instead of being intimidated they could be inspired, as I was, to embody what Django represented: A true Protector and Warrior for his wife/family.
PEOPLE WHO APPRECIATE/LIKE/LOVE THE MOVIE - Like myself and others I know who have been able to decode many of the hidden and not-so-hidden messages that Tarantino was attempting to get across (successfully I might add).
I could go on and on about many of the lessons and messages in this movie, but this comment is already long enough.
Not sure why everyone is saying Tarantino finally grew up...Especially after this movie. Grown ups make boring crap. I hope Tarantino never grows up.
Having seen Django earlier, I have to say it was an interesting film. Some of the music choices were a bit odd, and yes, distracting, but there were some great moments in it as well. The performances were excellent, and I loved the Dumas reference (although it was predictable, with the slave D'artagnan, it wasn't overly so.) Samuel L Jackson, and the violence were predictably over the top, but at this point, you go into a Tarantino film expecting copious amounts of blood. Some scenes are incredibly hard to watch, but then again, that's either a credit to realism or a disservice to the overly sensitive, depending on your perspective, I suppose. Again, its Tarantino, and if you go in expecting that, you'll be served much better. As to the seemingly simple question of whether I liked it, I'm still torn on that front. I also enjoyed the parallels to the myth of Brunhilde (once again predictable if you happen to be a student of Literature,). I think it?s worth seeing for the rich characters and well done performances, but I don?t think it can beat out something like Lincoln for Best Picture.
I totally agree with the last paragraph. Personally, I'd say the film started to go downhill in the last 30 minutes after a very ill thoughtout turn, but agree that the last 15 minutes were where it really sunk to its low point.
What started as freedom fight ended with a rushed epilogue as if they were trying to wash their hands from this mess of fractured scenes and half developed ideas. After Pulp Fiction, Tarantino lost originality, now he is just trying to hard to end his carrier in the same way it started with Reservoir Dogs.
Not sure if you are aware, but Tarantino's editor Sally Menke died in 2010. I attribute the awkward editing to her death.
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I think Tarantino peaked with Kill Bill. I thought Django Unchained was a pretty bad movie overall, especially when dealing with an incendiary topic like slavery. I know its a fictionalized movie, but I feel it really fell apart after the 'shake my hand' scene. The rest of the movie was totally unbelievable and contrived and ruined a pretty decent start.
I say this primarily as someone black that grew up in South Texas. Its interesting that he did portrait some of the brutal realism, but it wasnt really accurate at all and made the movie unpalatable for me. It seemed like it was some sort of weird revenge film.
Primary example: In the Southern slave states there were almost no freed blacks during slavery except maybe in New Orleans. If you were lucky enough to get freedom, most slave states had laws that required you to leave the state so most freed blacks went north. There was also a big market for freed blacks being kidnapped in the north and put back into slavery in the south as well. Texas had some leeway since its a large state that used to be its own country, but Mississippi was the heart of the plantation Confederacy, no black man would be riding around on a horse free or not in Mississippi without getting lynched post 1822.
@oflow I do enjoy Kill Bill (especially part2), but imo Django is just as good if not better, its really just personal preference. One thing about QT is it seems everyone has there own view on what his best movies are,etc.. It makes for great discussion.
For me its hard to pick just one of his flicks as I have liked em all (With Death Proof probably being my least favorite), sometimes I enjoy Resovoir Dogs the most, sometiems Pulp Fiction, sometimes Kill Bill 2, sometimes Inglorious Basterds,etc..
If I had to pick my favs it would be Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill2, Inglorious Basterds, Resovoir Dogs and Django. Somedays that top 5 might change in order, but at the end of the day they are all movies that have aspects I enjoy.
Usually dont watch many hollywood movies, prefer foreign flicks most the time, but QT is one director in Hollywood that I just really enjoy movies from. He does things his way and there is just something about the way he does Dialogue and stories/screenplays, combined with great acting his movies have. His violence or action is in the end my least favorite aspect of his movies.
I do agree with ya Kill BIll rules but I cannot agree with ya that he peaked at Kill Bill, Django and IB are both fantastic and much better then I expected.
Also it feels like a revenge flick because it is a revenge/spaghetti western.
Good review bud, I love this movie. My personal movie of the year (Argo and Once Upon A Time In Anatloia also very good).
I thought the dialogue, acting, screenplay and cinematography all were done very well.
I cannot pick a favorite QT movie, but for me Django is up there with Pulp Fiction for me personally.
QT did a fantastic job imo on Inglorious Basterds and Django, he is only getting better with time!
Small shortcomings seems to be the persistent theme in these reviews - I'm hoping that it makes up for them when I see it.
I would argue that the most "mature" Tarantino movie was Jackie Brown, which is a personal favorite for numerous reasons.
Regardless, Tarantino doesn't need to grow up. He makes iconic films that often reflect on the creation of cinema and popular genre, along with other ideas that are usually explored with maturity, and the guy has a good time doing it.
@ohhaimark Several of them, like KB and Death Proof, don't reflect on genre. He just imitates other films because he likes them. They might be fun but they're not deep or meaningful like this.
@biggest_loser @ohhaimark I absolutely disagree with you there. He's exploring the limitations of the genre he is imitating in his films. On the surface, he is using all of the archetypes of genres like the samurai sword in Kill Bill or the certain camera shots in Django that are clear allusions to films of the past, but he's using the exploitation genres to meditate on genre, among other topics.
Good review. Good movie. Kill Bill is still my favorite film by Tarantino however. Curious from reading the beginning of this, do you like Tarantino's older movies? I saw hints of resentment but not enough for me to know for sure.
I think its a brilliant film.. Though i do think it should have ended early. preferably after the first shoot out at Candie land. But enjoyed it none the less. Full marks from me...
Phenomenal movie to say to say the least. I enjoyed every second of it. The KKK part was the funniest part of the entire film! Ha it was great.
Sounds like a winner. I was one of those that were blown away by Tarantino's early films but felt that as time went on they became more bloated and it seemed he was making films purely for himself. I am looking forward to this now.
It's a great movie. I enjoyed all of it.
I disagree with the idea that Tarantino has finally decided to "grow up." Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds are all cinematic highlights of the modern era and I can firmly put Django alongside those classics. He hasn't grown up in the least. He's just doing more of what he loves to do.
Ya know, I gotta disagree with you. Head over to boxoffice.com and read their reviews and they will explain the sillines to the shootouts. Tarantino really thought everything out. And the music is interesting. There are a few bands who mix western sounding music with hip hop (e.g. the theme song of FX's Justified). Great article man! And well written! I just gotta disagree with your last paragraph.
@idkwhattoput3 I certainly would disagree with the notion that the film's climactic moments are well done. The first shootout in Candyland is all well and good, but why were two separate action sequences in the same room needed with only a span of about 10 minutes between them? To me, that's sloppy writing, pure and simple. I guess Tarantino needed some reason to work in a cameo to show off his awful Australian accent.